“I had no option only to hurl in my family because when you’re a young lad in the Reid family, you’re given a hurl and ball to enjoy yourself.”
With Kevin O’Brien
Hi TJ! Was hurling always a big thing your house growing up?
TJ says: “I was surrounded by hurling. My uncle (Richie) played for Kilkenny and my father (Sean) played for Ballyhale. I had no option only to hurl in my family because when you’re a young lad in the Reid family, you’re given a hurl and ball to enjoy yourself.”
Is it true that you played in goals at underage for Ballyhale?
TJ says: “Yes, sort of! In my own age group I played out the field but with the grade older than us I always played in goals. When I was a young lad I was small, chubby and slow so I wasn’t able to make the team out the field. I was very skillful and able to strike the ball long so they put me in goal.”
Can you remember the first time you played in Croke Park?
TJ says: “It was when I was 11 or 12 at the mini-sevens. You can’t sleep the night before because you’re playing in Croke Park in front of 40,000 or 50,000. Running out onto the field was a very special moment.”
Who are you closest to in the Kilkenny dressing room?
TJ says: “We’re all very close. I’d have great friends in the dressing room, but since myself and Richie Hogan joined the panel in 2007 we’ve been sitting beside each other. So Richie would be very close to me.”
Will you go see the Dubs play in Nowlan Park?
TJ says: “Definitely. It’ll be an attraction for Kilkenny. We like playing football in Ballyhale and I’ve two junior county football medals. That’s in February/March and the hurling comes in after. It will be hard get tickets in that day but if I can get my hands on a few tickets I’ll be there.”
How do you develop so many good hurlers in Ballyhale?
TJ says: “We’re a very basic club. Any teams that come down from the north they’d be kind of amazed by our setup. For all the things we’ve won, you’d think you’d be walking into a place with a big hall, floodlights and ball walls. But we keep it very simple and that’s our motto. We try to develop young lads and at the end of the day all you need is your hurl, a hurling ball and a wall or a friend to develop your skills.”
TJ explains his socks
Michael Fennelly brought in a few pairs to a training session. They were a nice comfy fit and they stay up as well. He prints all the club names from all over the country on them. You can never do without enough socks because they’re either going missing or they’re getting torn in the wash so we bought a good few. As long as they’re black and amber the county board doesn’t mind!
5 things you should know about TJ
He has been the top scorer in the last two All-Ireland finals and didn’t miss a placed ball in the 2015 final
He missed the 2015 All-Star trip to Texas to play for Ireland in the hurling-shinty international second series
He almost quit the Kilkenny panel after being dropped in 2012, but Henry Shefflin convinced him to stay!
When he shoots for goal, he aims low and tries to make the sliotar bounce in front of the ‘keeper!
He’s is a huge fan of Barcelona and loves watching them play!